A special guest post by Derek H. Frey:
Why am I having a big sad today? Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize! I think he deserves it too! And yet… and yet… the reactions… Oh, man, the reactions!
The majority of the reactions feel to me, like this is all a big, major, misunderstanding. And, given the context, a misunderstanding that is very telling of the state we are in – a state that most of us know is not a good one, a state most of us know is of our own doing; yet a state most of us think they have NO part in changing. That would be Obama’s job. And his alone.
By and large, the subtext of the vast majority of reactions today appears to be: you (Obama) deliver, while we (all of us) wait and see (and, if we are members of the GOP or Iran, or N.Korea, or the banks, or credit-card-users, or junk-food-lovers, we will in fact do everything so you get nowhere near achieving anything – while, of course, we continue to wonder aloud why it is you haven’t achieved anything fully).
Never mind that Obama is dragging and pushing everything and everyone in just that direction; he is sweet-talking Iran and North Korea, and hell, anyone who has a part to play in solving the many problems ALL of us need solving.
The Nobel Peace Committee recognized what he is trying to do; we (or at least the majority of us), who will benefit greatly if he were to achieve it, appear not to.
As I see it – and as I understand the purpose of the Nobel Peace Prize – it is like the Nobel Committee said: here’s the ideal, if you (all of us) follow it; he is the guy (Obama) heading in the direction of peace and brotherhood and what-have-you. If you (all of us) follow his example, only then peace can be achieved: only if the majority wants it.
The majority of reactions, in my view, were cynical, a lot of them mean-spirited, or doubting, all sorts of things… most of them were not what this prize really is all about: inspirational.
As much as the Nobel Peace prize is a symbol – as it stands for an ideal, for a direction, for a state of mind – the reactions themselves are symbols as well. They also stand for something. And what they stand for, the way I perceive it, is a bit frightening. It certainly is sad.